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French Onion Soup in the Slow Cooker


3 pounds

yellow onions, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarter-moons

2 tablespoons

unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons

olive oil

2 teaspoons

kosher salt, plus more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper

10 cups

reduced-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons

balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons

brandy (optional)

To Serve

4 to 6

toasted baguette slices per bowl

1/3 cup

grated Gruyère cheese per bowl (1 1/3 to 2 cups total)

Chopped shallot or fresh onion (optional)


Season the onions. Place the onions in a 5-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in the butter, oil, salt, and a generous amount of pepper.

Cook on LOW for 12 hours. Cover and cook on the LOW setting overnight until the onions should be dark golden-brown and soft, 12 hours or overnight.

Add the broth and vinegar. Stir in the broth and vinegar.

Cook for LOW 6 to 8 hours. Cover and continue cooking on the LOW setting for 6 to 8 hours. This is flexible; as long as your slow cooker holds moisture well (wrap a towel over the lid if quite a lot of steam escapes), you can cook the soup for hours. Longer cooking will only intensify the flavors. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and stir in the brandy if using.

Portion the soup into oven-safe bowls. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Ladle the soup and onions into oven-safe soup bowls and place the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet.

Top with toast and shredded cheese. Top each bowl with a slice of toast and a generous quantity of shredded Gruyère cheese, about 1/3 cup per bowl.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Bake until the cheese is completely melted, 20 to 30 minutes.

Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve with chopped fresh shallot or onion if desired.


Adjusting Consistency & Thickness: When I have made this, the soup has always been just the right consistency. But if yours seems a little thin or watery, you can quickly finish it off on the stovetop by simmering gently in a saucepan for 15 minutes or until the broth has reduced a little.


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